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Cost of your setup?

Nos

New member
Jun 18, 2016
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As a newbie on here Iam amazed at some of the equipment most of you have, I thought mine was fine but now I find that my system is so basic. So why do you spend 10/20K and more on listening to music, can you really tell the differance from a cheap ie 2/3K setup to one costing more than a nice car, or is it a man thing. Nos
 

TomSawyer

New member
Apr 17, 2016
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Nos said:
As a newbie on here Iam amazed at some of the equipment most of you have, I thought mine was fine but now I find that my system is so basic. So why do you spend 10/20K and more on listening to music, can you really tell the differance from a cheap ie 2/3K setup to one costing more than a nice car, or is it a man thing. Nos
I've heard a fair few very expensive systems but not one that sounded sufficiently better than my own that I could tell the difference. I've heard a few that sounded worse but that's another story.I'm certainly not arrogantly claiming that my system is anything special, I think it is just that the law of diminishing returns applies ever more as you go up the price range.

As to why people spend so much, there are bound to be many reasons? They may hear an improvement, impress their friends, or they may just want to keep spending money on their hobby. Provided they're not dealing drugs to fund it, all power to them and someone, somewhere is getting employment from their purchase while 20% goes to the treasury.
 

bluedroog

New member
Mar 4, 2010
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Of gear currently wired in and in use:

Squeezebox Touch - Bought new at £230

Audiolab M-DAC - Bought used at around £400

Event Opals - Bought new at a steal £1,800 with cables

Stands I can't recall but under £100

So for under £2.5k I've got myself a great sounding, simple and very functional set up. Of courses changes are due......
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
2
18,545
I have spent more tha 20k on my system and to me it is worth every penny, the amount of pleasure per £ makes it an absolute bargain.

It is a massive step up from a well put together 3 k system as anyone who hears it will confirm in the first ten seconds of listening due mainly to the dynamics and scale of the music, it sounds live.

That does not mean that a 3k system can't sound very very good, nor does it mean that is you just throw money at a system it will sound any better, but if you spend your 20k wisely it will always be better imo .

If you really love music and you can afford to, spend as much time effort and money as you can on putting together a system that suits you and you listening room.

If I had to make a choice between a 20k car and my system then my system would win every time .*smile*

Thinking about it I must have spent close to 20k on Cd,s over the years *shok*
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
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Nos said:
As a newbie on here Iam amazed at some of the equipment most of you have, I thought mine was fine but now I find that my system is so basic. So why do you spend 10/20K and more on listening to music, can you really tell the differance from a cheap ie 2/3K setup to one costing more than a nice car, or is it a man thing. Nos
Some expensive are not bought new, so you have to consider that, so a system you think cost £10k may in fact have cost much less, maybe only £3k. If I had my time again I would definately go down that route, you can get nearly new gear about 50% of the price. Can tell the difference yes there is a difference but it more depends on the matching than the price, a well matched budget system can sound far better than an expensive poorly matched one.
 

Al ears

Moderator
BigH said:
Nos said:
As a newbie on here Iam amazed at some of the equipment most of you have, I thought mine was fine but now I find that my system is so basic. So why do you spend 10/20K and more on listening to music, can you really tell the differance from a cheap ie 2/3K setup to one costing more than a nice car, or is it a man thing. Nos
Some expensive are not bought new, so you have to consider that, so a system you think cost £10k may in fact have cost much less, maybe only £3k. If I had my time again I would definately go down that route, you can get nearly new gear about 50% of the price. Can tell the difference yes there is a difference but it more depends on the matching than the price, a well matched budget system can sound far better than an expensive poorly matched one.
BigH is correct. Not all systems are bought from new, mine for example. I did once work out what it would have cost new and it worried me. The only thing in my system bought new is the Oppo 105 and the cartridge on my turntable.

All others either second-hand, ex demo or bought direct from manufacturers, thus avoiding the dealers horrendous mark-up, with the procedes of careful selling on of older pieces of equipment. I have built up system over a large number of years and only by shrued buying / selling and haggling. ;-)
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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Nos, I spent about £10k on my main system. That's mainly because my speakers command high prices when they become available. Which happens rarely. My pair came on the market when the original owner passed away.

My system is probably worth about £12k now. My turntable has shot up in value since I bought it.

The way I see it is; I'm converting liquid assets (cash in bank) into less liquid assets (hi-fi) that I enjoy using a lot.

Every car that I would enjoy owning and using would depreciate. That makes £10k cars a worse investment than collectable hi-fi.

If I ever find something that sounds at least as good as what I already have, that costs less money then the more expensive item will be sold on.

Price and sound quality have very little correlation in hi-fi.

The only thing that a larger budget does from a sound quality point of view is to open the door to the more sought after components, without having to rely on once in a lifetime, right place right time, fluke finds.

As for telling the £10k system from the £3k system, well that's all a big fat "It depends". It depends on exactly what £10k system we're talking about and what £3k system. As well as how they're set up, the room, the music being played and the volume.

Some £3k systems sound better than some £10k / £30k / £50k / £1 million systems.
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
692
230
19,270
Nos said:
As a newbie on here Iam amazed at some of the equipment most of you have, I thought mine was fine but now I find that my system is so basic. So why do you spend 10/20K and more on listening to music, can you really tell the differance from a cheap ie 2/3K setup to one costing more than a nice car, or is it a man thing. Nos
You have to waste your money on something in life. To some it's cars, to others it's holiday, some it's smoking, the list is endless. To us it's hi-fi and music. To put it in perspective, I am going to Birmingham Saturday night for a Rainbow concert. That's £100 gone. AC/DC in Manchester a fortnight ago was £150 all in. This year alone I am over £2K on gigs alone. Everybody needs at least one vice in life and ours is music.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
7
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I don't count or communicate around the price of my setup.

And yes, they are differences between a 2k and 10k setup. When you spend your money in accurate way. Because some will invest manymany $$$ in cd players, cables and amplifier and neglecting the two major elements -> room and speakers. So they make concessions on key points for a good sound in order to push forward things that are rather un-importnant.

Especially in the available speaker qualities, you have astonishing speakers starting to appear around the 6k euro range. Even if they try hard, the 2k speakers are a compromise for making it possible to sell a speaker to this price. But speakers made for ideal sound reproduction are generally costly.

(Knowledgeable hifi enthousiasts will notice that I don't mentionned DIY speakers or directly sold speaker.)
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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0
Current setup £40K. Previous £75K. Current better in every way. Both would defecate from a great height on any £3K system.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,635
83
19,770
Al ears said:
BigH said:
Nos said:
As a newbie on here Iam amazed at some of the equipment most of you have, I thought mine was fine but now I find that my system is so basic. So why do you spend 10/20K and more on listening to music, can you really tell the differance from a cheap ie 2/3K setup to one costing more than a nice car, or is it a man thing. Nos
Some expensive are not bought new, so you have to consider that, so a system you think cost £10k may in fact have cost much less, maybe only £3k. If I had my time again I would definately go down that route, you can get nearly new gear about 50% of the price. Can tell the difference yes there is a difference but it more depends on the matching than the price, a well matched budget system can sound far better than an expensive poorly matched one.
BigH is correct. Not all systems are bought from new, mine for example. I did once work out what it would have cost new and it worried me. The only thing in my system bought new is the Oppo 105 and the cartridge on my turntable.

All others either second-hand, ex demo or bought direct from manufacturers, thus avoiding the dealers horrendous mark-up, with the procedes of careful selling on of older pieces of equipment. I have built up system over a large number of years and only by shrued buying / selling and haggling. ;-)
Nope. My system consists of 'end of line' new or ex-dem. Savings can be immense but you need to be patient. Sooner or later the model and make will come up for sale.

If I had purchased mine at RRP it would cost close on 4k. Whereas my 'wait and buy' policy in total cost less than 2k (turntable included).
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
135
10
18,595
I set a notional £500 for each component in my system(s) - source, amp, speakers, so about £1500 altogether. I've ended up with a combination of new / ex-dem / used stuff. Only once have I significantly transgressed that limit for a single component and that was for a valve amplifier which in retrospect I think was worth it. I value aesthetics, functionality and sound quality in equal measure ... I just try to find the optimum combination for my budget. There are very few 'statement' hi-fi pieces that I would actually like to have, so up until now I have resisted the temptation to blow big money on any hifi :)
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Gazzip said:
Current setup £40K. Previous £75K. Current better in every way. Both would defecate from a great height on any £3K system.
Gazzip, can you please remind us what your current £40k system is and what your £75k system was?

And do you really mean ANY £3k system?
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
My current set up, new, would cost approximately 16K, but with a bit of wheeling and dealing I've paid about 8K.

It's taken me many years and unquantifiable amount of pleasure to achieve the kind of SQ I now enjoy andyou just can't put a price on that.

I'm passionat about music and I love this hobby!

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
 

Al ears

Moderator
plastic penguin said:
Al ears said:
BigH said:
Nos said:
As a newbie on here Iam amazed at some of the equipment most of you have, I thought mine was fine but now I find that my system is so basic. So why do you spend 10/20K and more on listening to music, can you really tell the differance from a cheap ie 2/3K setup to one costing more than a nice car, or is it a man thing. Nos
Some expensive are not bought new, so you have to consider that, so a system you think cost £10k may in fact have cost much less, maybe only £3k. If I had my time again I would definately go down that route, you can get nearly new gear about 50% of the price. Can tell the difference yes there is a difference but it more depends on the matching than the price, a well matched budget system can sound far better than an expensive poorly matched one.
BigH is correct. Not all systems are bought from new, mine for example. I did once work out what it would have cost new and it worried me. The only thing in my system bought new is the Oppo 105 and the cartridge on my turntable.

All others either second-hand, ex demo or bought direct from manufacturers, thus avoiding the dealers horrendous mark-up, with the procedes of careful selling on of older pieces of equipment. I have built up system over a large number of years and only by shrued buying / selling and haggling. ;-)
Nope. My system consists of 'end of line' new or ex-dem. Savings can be immense but you need to be patient. Sooner or later the model and make will come up for sale.

If I had purchased mine at RRP it would cost close on 4k. Whereas my 'wait and buy' policy in total cost less than 2k (turntable included).
Good advice, and good to hear. I had to wait three years to find my speakers. ;-)
 

Nos

New member
Jun 18, 2016
4
0
0
Thanks for your honest replies, at the moment Iam building a new house in France, so all the money is going there, I have never listened to an "expensive" system outside of a demo room, so dont know what it will sound like at home, I do have a very good ear, in fact two of them, I was a classically trained musician in a past life, so music as been a love of mine for over fifty years, I also married a ballet dancer so we both like the same music, more or less. When I have added to my setup I tend to go off of the various reviews, so next year will see what left in the budget for a small update, as said there are worse things to spend your money on.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
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The basic front-end of CD player, amp and speakers cost me easily less than a grand, even if you factor-in the cost of having the amp fully serviced and upgraded by ARS. I built my HiFi shrewdly from used kit, based on my existing understanding of the gears' performance when it was new. Having done so, IMO I have a built a HiFi with a performance-level that could only be attained from new items costing considerably more.
 

Al ears

Moderator
MajorFubar said:
The basic front-end of CD player, amp and speakers cost me easily less than a grand, even if you factor-in the cost of having the amp fully serviced and upgraded by ARS. I built my HiFi shrewdly from used kit, based on my existing understanding of the gears' performance when it was new. Having done so, IMO I have a built a HiFi with a performance-level that could only be attained from new items costing considerably more.
Good to hear you're still holding on to the EB2's, just wish I had the foresight to have kept mine.
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
692
230
19,270
tino said:
I set a notional £500 for each component in my system(s) -
CD Transport, DAC, Streamer, Tuner, Turntable, Tone Arm, Cartridge, Phono Stage, Pre Amp, Power Amp, NAS Drive, Cassette deck, Docking Station, Headphone Amp, Headphones, Stereo Speakers, AV Amp, Rear Speakers, Centre Speaker, Subwoofer, Free Sat recorder, DVD Player, TV, Rack, cables.

That £12K
 

Native_bon

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2008
180
2
18,595
Some how I dn't believe every single one here who says their expensive system sounds better than any other cheaper 3k or below system. Subjectivity comes into play with presentation of music with a system. I have listened to expensive systems & I dn't believe the hype. My system is 5k but a person with a cheaper set up may think their system sounds better than mine & rightly so. On the other hand their judgement may be wrong. Its quite never black or white.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
Al ears said:
Good to hear you're still holding on to the EB2's, just wish I had the foresight to have kept mine.
Indeed. Rightly or wrongly I've formed the opinion over many years of swapping boxes that one has to double the price of something to achive anything more than a sideways move or modest improvement that often isn't great value for money. So it's likely I'll be keeping them for the foreseeable future until something now £2k-£3k finds itself in my price backet. When the EB2s were initially reviewed, WHF all but said they gave other speakers under a grand a good schooling, and I think they only missed out on a Best Speaker
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
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MajorFubar said:
Rightly or wrongly I've formed the opinion over many years of swapping boxes that one has to double the price of something to achive anything more than a sideways move or modest improvement that often isn't great value for money.
I have also arrived at that same conclusion (all things being equal)....and said so many times on here.
 

TomSawyer

New member
Apr 17, 2016
3
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CnoEvil said:
MajorFubar said:
Rightly or wrongly I've formed the opinion over many years of swapping boxes that one has to double the price of something to achive anything more than a sideways move or modest improvement that often isn't great value for money.
I have also arrived at that same conclusion (all things being equal)....and said so many times on here.
And even then, there are no guarantees. Care and judgment are still needed. And with each doubling, the improvement diminishes in my experience.
 

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